While having some debt and paying it off steadily can help your credit score, having too much debt can lower your creditworthiness and add unnecessary stress to your life. If you aren’t careful, debt can become a vicious cycle: the more you owe, the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rates, the harder it becomes to pay off what you owe. The good news is that you can break that cycle with a combination of budgeting and good decision making.

How to Pay It Down

Refinance. Lowering your interest rate can help you pay debt off faster.

Consolidate. Rolling several debts together can get you a better rate, plus it means one simple payment.

Prioritize. Focus on paying off high interest debt first while continuing to chip away at lower interest debts.

Getting Started

The first step in reducing debt is identifying all the debt you have. It might seem scary, but you can’t tackle the problem if you don’t know exactly what you’re dealing with. Next, take a look at your budget and think about where you can free up money for paying off debt. You might also want to talk to a financial expert about how to lower your interest rates or reduce the number of payments you have to make each month. No matter how bad you think your situation might be, it’s probably not the worst one we’ve seen. Remember that we’re not here to judge you, we’re here to help you succeed.